Archeologists everywhere have a particular bone to pick with ISIS. The radical Islamic terrorist group is guilty of committing countless atrocities across the globe, but it’s the wanton destruction of countless ancient artifacts in Syria that has dealt an irreversible blow to anthropological studies.
Infuriating drone footage released by the Russian Ministry of Defense reveals the extensive damage that ISIS has caused to the ancient city of Palmyra, once the seat of the Palmyrene Empire and one of the wealthiest enclaves along the Silk Road.
Sadly, Palmyra came under the control of ISIS in 2015, which promptly destroyed some of the site’s millennia-old buildings. The Syrian Army retook it in March 2016 and held it until it was once again captured by ISIS in December, which has continued to obliterate Palmyrene relics without a care.
This latest video shows Palmyra’s grand amphitheater reduced to rubble. Nearby, the Tetrapylon – a square platform with groupings of four columns located at each corner – is a shadow of its former self.
UNESCO, which designated the city as a Heritage Site, has labeled the atrocity as a “war crime.” According to the Russian defense ministry, Syrian government troops are close to retaking the city once again, hopefully for good this time.